Westmead Hospital Whistleblowers

Westmead Hospital Whistleblowers is serialising and account of the bullying of Dr Michael Cole at Westmead Hospital for blowing the whistle on the harm done to babies at Westmead Hospital as a result of the administration’s failure to act when alerted to the lack of clinical competence of Professor Tarnow Mordi.

Click here:   http://www.westmeadhospitalwhistleblowers.com/the-william-tarnow-mordi-scandal.html

Other posts on reprisals and bullying on Whistleblower Australia,click here.

The Mobbing of Lyn Downe at Nepean Hospital, click here.

Index of recent posts

Millions of Health Dollars Wasted by Sydney West Area Health Service.
Millions of dollars wasted by Sydney West Local Health District on reprisals against Lyn Downe at Nepean Hospital.

Millions more taxpayer’s dollars wasted by Sydney West Local Health District.
Dr Michael Cole, the Westmead Hospital Whistleblower, exposes the William Tarnow Mordi scandal at Westmead Hospital.

Is William Tarnow Mordi still experimenting on babies?
Julie Robotham and the Sydney Morning Herald ask why Sydney West Local Health District still allows the discredited William Tarnow Mordi to be in charge of experiments on babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at Westmead Hospital.

 Sydney West Local Health District Lied
Sydney West Local Health District covers up the delay in removing William Tarnow Mordi from directing the treatment protocols and policies in the neonatal intensive care unit at Westmead Hospital.

Bullying, Mobbing, Reprisals and Whistleblowing Resources
An extensive collection of links relating to whistleblowing, reprisals, mobbing and bullying.

 Whatever happened to Bryan McKee Hata
Sydney West Local Health District’s pursuit of Brian McKee Hata.

Bullying in the Schoolyard Is Not the Same as Workplace Bullying by Janice Harper
Janice Harper’s insightful article.

Is William Tarnow Mordi still experimenting on babies?

Disgraced doctor William Tarnow Mordi was allowed to quietly stand down from treating babies in the Centre for Newborn Care, the Neonatal Intensive care Unit, at Westmead Hospital after whistleblower Dr Michael Cole alerted authorities to Tarnow Mordi’s lack of competence and an external investigation found that he should not be allowed to treat babies.

But despite this scandal Tarnow Mordi, a University of Sydney Professor, was allowed to remain as Director of the unit and to manage research on the babies he was not allowed to treat. He was promoted to Director of neonatal trials at the National Health and Medical Research Council’s clinical trials unit.

The Human Research Ethics Committee at Westmead Hospital ignored complaints that Tarnow Mordi continued to experiment on babies after his clinical privileges were removed in July 2009. Dr Cole and another doctor wrote to the Human Research Ethics Committee’s Chairman, Professor Stephen Leeder, expressing concerns. The doctor’s concerns were ignored.

The same concerns remain unanswered. Are the parents who agree to experiments being performed on their babies fully informed about the professional status of Tarnow Mordi who has no clinical privileges and is not allowed to treat babies? Or are parents misled, believing that their babies are under the competent care of a University of Sydney professor and Director of the NHMRC neonatal trials unit?

Comment on ‘HR was useless’

Whistlebloweraustralia recently commented on an article ‘HR was Useless’ on the Minding the Workplace site.  The Minding the Workplace site is hosted by Professor David Yamada Professor of Law and Director of the New Workplace Institute at Suffolk University in Boston USA.

On May 13, 2010 at 10:38 pm Not all said:

I currently work as a HR Advisor after stumbling into the role from Training and Development. I was as cynical of HR as the average Joe until I actually joined the club. I try to approach all situations objectively as we are constantly faced with “your word against mine” scenarios. I tend to support the notion that communication is the key and often HR becomes the scapegoat for Managements lack of communication deliberatly or not (this includes the supervisor/employee relationship). Why oh why do so man supervisors find a one on one catch up with their staff so hard to fathom???

Many also fail to understand that although HR aims to be a part of the ‘strategic’ team, HR is rarely involved in the decisions that impact employees, and even when HR is advocating (unbeknown to staff) for employee’s, Management will always do what they want to do. HR is a thankless job where people feel entitled to treat you with as little respect as possible, until they actually need you – thats when the sickly sweet attitude comes in.

Currently my organization is faced with a situation where a Manager is a typical workplace bully, HR would like nothing more than to make this person accountable yet the employees come to HR stating that information they provide is confidential and they do not want it revealed – yet, they want us to do something with nothing to go on? We have asked them as a group to come forward, document everything, state it on their supervisors performance appraisal yet nobody stated anything negative. HR can not seriously be expected to do anything when the employees have effectively tied our hands. All staff need to realize that they are accountable to themselves and their standards first and foremost. If you want to change your workplace then make a stand and respectfully support your arguments. A good organization will be willing to receive feedback and open to change. If your organization is not like this then I would suggest reassessing your standards and whether this is the type of organization you would like to work for.

  • On July 29, 2011 at 1:32 am whistlebloweraustralia said:

    An article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia, 23 may 2011 exposed William Tarnow Mordi, a neonatologist and director in the neonatal intensive care unit. Even obstetricians rescheduled their deliveries if he was on service to avoid him taking care of the babies. After 8 years, in 2008, an external investigation finally found that he should not be allowed to work in the neonatal unit.

    According to the same report Dr Michael Cole, another neonatologist in the unit, had repeatedly claimed to have been bullied for alerting management to the dangers faced by babies in the unit due to this lack of competence. These reprisals came from all levels of management including HR.

    A year earlier, in 2007, HR interviewed 43 staff members from the unit because of complaints of reprisals and bullying. Apparently every staff member decided not to say anything. They felt afraid to speak out because they had mortgages, family and careers to consider and they did not trust HR. They knew that HR cannot keep what is told to HR confidential. HR must release any complaint to the alleged bullies before any action can be taken. That would be normal due process and natural justice. Apparently no one disclosed any reprisals or bullying at all. Predictably HR found no evidence of bullying.

    Staff obviously felt more confident about discussing their concerns about William Tarnow Mordi’s lack of competence. This led to the external investigation in 2008.

    It appears that the staff involved in 2007did not trust HR and doubted HR’s promise of confidentiality. Proving allegations of bullying or reprisals would be difficult, especially in an organisation where the culture of bullying was endemic but denied (as found by the external investigation) and HR was part of that culture. Perhaps the staff felt on safer ground discussing their concerns about competence which is something better recognised and dealt with.

    All the staff involved, especially Dr Michael Cole, appeared to act as though they knew that HR is not the employee’s friend. HR works for and is paid by the organisation and is expected to work for the organisation’s benefit.

    Workplaces react to threats by eliminating the threat. It is often called ‘workplace bullying’ but is more correctly called ‘Mobbing’. HR is part of this mobbing unit. The process for removing staff, usually whistleblowing staff, is run by HR who could not accomplish the task without at least passive support from the administration.

    HR is not the employee’s friend.

See ‘HR was Useless’ on the Minding the Workplace site.

Millions more taxpayer’s dollars wasted by Sydney West Local Health District.

Professor William Tarnow Mordi was protected by Sydney West Local Health District for nearly a decade.

An articles in the Sydney Morning Herald slams Westmead Hospital and Sydney West Local Health District (SWLHD) for not acting on damning external investigations spanning seven years that exposed William Tarnow Mordi’s lack of managerial and clinical skills. Thousands of taxpayer and charity dollars were wasted on equipment that no one knew how to use. And babies were put at risk by concerning clinical practices.

William Tarnow Mordi SMH

The first report was in 2001 by Professor Ross Haslam who found ”considerable variability in the work practices of the consultants”.
In August of 2008 William Tarnow Mordi was allowed to step down quietly after the report by Professor David Tudehope and specialist nurse Sandie Bredemyer was critical of Professor Tarnow Mordi’s clinical and managerial skills.

A Westmead Hospital spokesperson said that between August 2008 and the appointment of a new director, Professor Tarnow Mordi took periods of leave and undertook further training.

Taxpayers and those who donate to charities might well be concerned that Westmead Hospital and SWLHD took no effective action to correct a problem that had been brought to their attention seven years earlier in 2001. They might be concerned that taxpayer’s dollars might now be wasted on possibly avoidable legal cases and damages for at least one baby who was allegedly harmed during those seven years.

Taxpayers would be relieved by Westmead Hospital’s reassurance that Professor Tarnow Mordi was not the director of the Unit and did not perform research on babies in the Unit after August 2008.